News & Events
- Finding Fireflies!
- Blessed with beautifully clean air and water, taking in the sight of fireflies dancing in the night has become a summer tradition in Shiga.
Moriyama City and Maibara City both hold events related to fireflies.
Moriyama has long been known as region where Luciola "Japanese fireflies" gather,
and during the Taisho period (1912 - 1926) it was designated the first Natural Monument in Japan.
During the flying season at the end of May, you can see fireflies even close to the station.
Best Time for Viewing：Late May - early June
Access：A free shuttle bus departs from Moriyama Station to the firefly viewing spot (only during the period of the event)
The "Heavenly River Firefly Festival" is held in early June, during which you can watch Luciola "Japanese fireflies" dancing over the Amanogawa River.
Firefly lanterns are also placed along the walk routes in the vicinity of the venue, allowing the viewing of illusory firefly dances.
Best Time for Viewing：Early June - mid June
Access：5 min. on foot from JR Omi-Nagaoka Station
- Glamping in Shiga!
- Introduction to facilities on Lake Biwa and in the surrounding area where you can enjoy some glamping.
L' Hôtel Du Lac
Experience glamping while looking out over Lake Biwa and Chikubushima island.
Okubiwako Makino Grand Park Hotel
Enjoy standup paddle boarding and kayaking on a private beach.
Glamping facilities that allow BBQs and standup paddle board yoga to be enjoyed without the need to bring in any of your own equipment.
The largest glamping facility in Shiga.
- Lake Biwa Flower Fountain
- The Lake Biwa Flower Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world, located in the offing at Otsu Port, the gateway to Lake Biwa tourism.
Completed in March of 1995, it has become beloved by many locals and visitors alike.
Against the backdrop of beautiful Lake Biwa, the water reaches heights of up to 40m into the air, with varying volumes and angles depicting all sorts of shapes.
During the daytime you can enjoy the cool and refreshing scenery, while at night a fantastical world of colorful illumination is created.
Afternoon: 12:00 - 13:00
Evening (Sat, Sun, Holidays): 15:00 - 16:00 *Not on weekdays
Night: Between 18:00 - 21:00 *Changes depending on the day. The fountain is also illuminated.
4 min. on foot from Keihan Biwako Hamaotsu Station
- Special Experiences in Temples in Shiga
- Visiting temples in Shiga Prefecture can be about more than just sightseeing. A variety of experiences are on offer that allow you to come into contact with Buddhist teachings, including but far from limited to Zen meditation and hand-copying sutras.
You can select the beads for the rosary yourself, from materials that include power stones and natural wood. Once the rosary is completed a monk will pray over it, allowing you to commune with Buddha by wearing it and bringing you lasting peace.
Time Required: Around 30 minutes
Charge: From \1,000
Inquiries: Mii-dera Temple email@example.com
Tosenkyo is a darts-style game played by the Japanese nobility, sometimes called “fan tossing” in English. Other experiences on offer include wearing a kimono and the tea ceremony, allowing you to enjoy various facets of Japanese culture.
Time Required: 2 hours 30 minutes
Inquiries: Enmanin firstname.lastname@example.org
[Experience the Diet of a Buddhist Monk]
The diet of a Buddhist monk is similar to a vegetarian diet, using no meat or fish, and was originally created for the purposes of the monks as they undergo their harsh training. It is suitable for everyone, including vegetarians.
- Learn About Japanese Technology! Factory Tours!
Here you can view the history of KOKUYO, going back more than 100 years, through a range of rare and valuable materials. This is one of the largest notebook factories in Japan.
[Access]15 min. by taxi from Ohmi Railway Echigawa Station
[Participation Charges]100yen (reservation required)
Take a tour of a Kirin plant, where both soft drinks and beer are made. You can even sample freshly made beverages for yourself.
[Access]15 min. on foot from Ohmi Railway Screen Station
Observe toilets being made. You can also experiencing pouring a mold for a miniature toilet.
[Access]10 min. on foot from JR Mikumo Station
[Participation Charges]Free (reservation required)
UCC were the first company in the world to create canned coffee. A concierge will join you in experiencing how their delicious coffee is made.
[Access]15 min. on foot from Ohmi Railway Echigawa Station
[Participation Charges]Free (reservation required)
- Kanou Shoujuan Sunai no Sato Japanese Confection Making Experience
- Kanou Shoujuan Sunai no Sato is a longstanding Japanese style confectioner, now synonymous with Shiga. Along with delicious delicacies, they also offer a chance to make your own confections.
Using ingredients carefully selected by the highly skilled Kanou Shoujuan staff, this classroom provides the opportunity to make Japanese confections that are overflowing with a sense of the seasons.
Under the watchful guidance of skilled craftspeople, enjoy this deliciously creative experience in a peaceful and welcoming atmosphere.
[Day Held]Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (*May change depending on the season)
[Time]10:45 - 12:15 (Japanese confection making)
[Participation Charges]2700yen (including tax) per person
[No. of Places]40 people (reservations closed once full)
[Things to Bring ] Nothing in particular (aprons etc. will be provided)
[Applications](Reception 9:00 - 17:00)
*Please make a reservation at least 4 days before the date on which you wish to participate.
- Biwaichi Cycling
- Biwaichi Cycling allows you to cycle around the circumference of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan and the symbol of Shiga, while enjoying nature, history and sightseeing spots along the way.
A full circuit of the lake is approximately 200km in length, taking experienced cyclists a full day. Others often take two days with one night's lodgings, but a three days, two nights plan actually comes highly recommended!
There are lakeside spaces where you can enjoy varied and thrilling seasonal scenery, as well as many historical sites and famous spots along the shores, offering a whole range of fun things to do.
The appeal of Lake Biwa is inexhaustible! Grab as much of it as you can from the back of a bicycle!
Many of the stations and tourist facilities in Shiga offer renta-cycles, making it easy to get your wheels on the ground. How about sightseeing across Shiga from the back of a bicycle, proceeding entirely at your own leisurely pace?
- Ninja Experience
- The Koka Ninja Village feels like an ancient and hidden settlement. Within the wide grounds there is a shinobi shrine, a museum dedicated to ninja techniques, a house full of ninja traps and secret panels, and a shuriken throwing star dojo. The museum in particular is especially rich in materials relating to ninja, housing the most in the world.
You can also rent ninja outfits, allowing you to experience the feeling of becoming a real ninja while undertaking your training.
How about exploring the place where Koka ninja originated?
[Rental Outfits Charges]
Children 610JPY/day, Adults 1030JPY/day
*Outfit rental is on a first come, first served basis.
*Head wraps are an additional 100YPY.
*A deposit is also required for rentals.
■Koka Ninja Village
Adults 1030JPY, Junior High School Students 820JPY, Elementary School Students 730JPY, Toddlers 520JPY, 2 years and under free
- Castles of Omi
- Due to being close to Kyoto and a key point for travel, the Omi region saw numerous battles featuring famous feudal warlords, including Nobunaga and Hideyoshi. The importance of the region also led those seeking to unify Japan to build castles here. These are a few of the castles that are truly representative of Omi.
Hikone-jo Castle is not only a National Treasure but is also exceptionally well preserved, even if all castles in Japan are considered, and attracts a large number of visitors throughout the year.
Azuchi-jo Castle is said to have been the first wooden high-rise building in the world, but it was burnt down only three years after being built and now only the ruins remains.
Nagahama-jo Castle is where feudal warlord Hideyoshi Toyotomi spent the end of the warring states period. It was abandoned at the start of the Edo period (1603 - 1868) and is now an archeological museum featuring a restoration of the castle from its glory days.
- Dedicate a “Wish Daruma” doll on Chikubushima Island!
- Chikubushima Island is found on Lake Biwa. Here’s the way to dedicate a traditional “Wish Daruma” doll to the goddess Benzaiten, who is believed to free people from suffering and lead them into happiness.
(1) Write your wish along with your name on a special piece of paper.
(2) After finishing writing on the paper, roll it up into a tube shape.
(3) Insert the paper into the hole on the bottom of the daruma doll.
(4) Have someone from the shrine office seal the wish inside using a special sticker.
(5) Dedicate the doll in the main hall, pay a prayer fee of 500 yen, and you are finished!
Please note that you cannot take the Wish Daruma doll home with you. However, if you make an additional donation along with your 500 yen prayer fee, you can receive a non-retail “Wish Daruma strap” to take home.
Here’s hoping that your wish comes true!
- Celebrating the opening of the “Alps Gym,” the largest facility of its type in west Japan!
- A new athletic facility has opened in Blumen Hugel Farm, Hino-cho, Shiga. The massive German-made athletics structure stands at a height of 17m, making it the largest in west Japan. There are thrills to be found for everyone from children to adults, including authentic bouldering, and attractions such as crossing a log bridge on a bicycle. See if you can defeat the 72 challenges that await you here!
Blumen Hugel Farm Admission fee: Adult 1,000 yen, children 4 year or older 600 yen
Additional charges apply for use of the Alps Gym.
Adults 3,000 yen, elementary school children 2,000 yen
You may use the facilities for 60 minutes. Participants must be at least 125cm tall and no heavier than 120 kilos.
Parking is free.
Business hours: 10:00 - 17:00 (weekdays), 9:30 - 18:00 (weekends)
- Dress up like a hina doll and take a ceremonial photo!
- March 3 is the Hina Festival in Japan.
Around 110 sets of hina dolls are currently on display, including those belonging to the Omi Merchants of Gokasho who were active from the end of the Edo period to the Showa pre-war period. While they are on display, an event is also being held in which you can dress up like a hina doll and take a ceremonial photo. The results should look great on social media!
Period: Until March 20 (Wed)
◆Venue / Time: Nine venues around Gokasho, Higashi-Omi / 9:30 - 16:30
◆Charge: For example, 3 venue ticket for the Omi Merchant Houses (the Shigeru Tonomura House, Uhee Tonomura House, and Jungoro Nakae House) adults 600 yen, elementary school children 300 yen
◆Houses Closed: Feb 12 (Tue), Mar 11 (Mon)
◆Access: From JR Notogawa Station, take the Omi Bus bound for Yokaichi Station and alight at the “Plaza Sanpo Yoshi Mae” stop, then walk for 5 - 20 minutes.
◆Inquiries: Higashi Omi Tourist Association: http://www.higashiomi.net/